Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City hires new Chief Equity Officer to lead City’s internal and external equity efforts

January 20, 2023

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has appointed Damian Choi to serve as Chief Equity Officer to lead the City’s efforts of embedding equity, inclusion and belonging citywide.

“I’m so excited to welcome Damian to my office to continue the work of making our capital city a fair and equitable place for all who live here and visit,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “Damian’s background is rooted in transformative justice and a community-oriented approach to social change. That plus his valuable institutional knowledge from working for the City for 12 years makes him the perfect choice for this important role.”

In his role, Choi will be responsible for working across Salt Lake City’s departments to facilitate an organization-wide strategy to embed diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging into every aspect of the City’s mission, work and culture. He will assess current policies and practices and recommend changes to mitigate bias and inequities. He will also support and ensure alignment across all departments to support the unique needs of Salt Lake City.

“It’s an honor and privilege to serve the Salt Lake City community as the newly appointed Chief Equity Officer. We each have come from different places, and arrived by way of a unique journey to Salt Lake City. These differences likely contributed to shaping us and inspire our reactions and perspectives regarding today’s social justice issues,” Choi said. ”The better we appreciate and understand our individual perspectives, the more cohesive and engaged our teams will be in serving the folks that live in and visit Salt Lake City. My hope is that we will continually challenge ourselves and each other in an atmosphere of mutual concern, goodwill, and respect.”

Previously, Choi served as the City’s Associate Director for Youth and Family and as the Compliance Division Director. Before working for Salt Lake City Corporation, he worked in a variety of government, higher education and non-profit capacities including as an educator, policy researcher and as a consultant. 

He earned a B.A. from Ashford University San Diego, CA; a M.A in Community Leadership from Westminster College, and completed a postgraduate degree in Conflict Resolution & Mediation from the University of Utah. 

Choi takes the helm of the City’s Equity Team following the departure of Kaletta Lynch. Lynch ushered in Salt Lake City’s first Citywide Equity Plan among many other accomplishments. She recently moved out of state with her family. 

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